[tlhIngan Hol] «jIH je» and variations

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Nov 23 06:18:35 PST 2022

On 11/22/2022 8:38 PM, zrajm wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 22, 2022 at 3:17 PM SuStel via tlhIngan-Hol 
> <tlhingan-hol at lists.kli.org> wrote:
>     On 11/22/2022 8:19 AM, zrajm via tlhIngan-Hol wrote:
>>     Though it makes me think that Klingon 2 might abbreviate even
>>     more and just say «je» alone (skipping the verb altogether). –
>>     This is a common practice in (at least Swedish) sign language,
>>     though it seems a bit weird from an English speaker's perspective.
>>     Do you think that you (prior to this discussion) would've
>>     understood if just a naked «je» was used? Or is that to
>>     abbreviate too much?
>     I'd have understood, but just understanding doesn't count for
>     much. If in English I said things like "I want pizza" and "I think
>     that was very nice," and someone with me kept saying "Also!" right
>     after me, I'd get it. That doesn't mean they're using the language
>     correctly.
> Weell, from my point of view, being understood is kinda the whole 
> point – or, at least, the Most Important point. :)

If tru, y we no talk like this? U no wut me saying, but we no talk this 
way. Y?

Because being understood is about more than just being able to piece 
together what the other person is trying to express. Language is a group 
of conventions that two communicators have in common. It is shared 
culture. Convention and redundancy are an essential part of language.

> – Though on the whole I'm more interested in whether people in general 
> would understand, rather than whether or not any one single individual 
> would. (Making the fact that you'd understand an important datapoint, 
> if not the whole picture.)

I daresay most people would understand my first paragraph above, but 
that still doesn't make it right.

>     I've been studying Welsh for a while. Welsh has a gazillion ways
>     to say /yes/ or /no,/ and you have to pick the right one for the
>     right circumstance. If someone asked me /Wyt ti'n hoffi cwrw?/
>     ("Do you like beer?") and I answered /Naddo/ ("No" about a
>     past-tense action) instead of /Nac ydw/ (literally "I am not"), I
>     would have used the language incorrectly but I daresay I would be
>     understood. I'd just sound like an idiot.
> You're right though, I might sound like an idiot. But maybe we all do 
> when we speak Klingon? It's hard to tell what a Real Klingon would 
> think (but It Is interesting to think about).

It's what we should strive for. If we just blithely accept *jIH je* or 
even just *je* as /me too,/ we are saying "I don't care about the idea 
that Klingon is set up to resemble a natural language with a fictional 
culture behind it." You might as well chuck /Klingon for the Galactic 
Traveler/ out the window if you feel that way, and I should have 
listened to all those people who sneer, "Why don't you learn a /useful/ 

> In a way, since Klingon isn't as thoroughly documented as Welsh, we 
> might have more leeway for making up our own styles of speaking.

A lack of documentation means you don't know the correct answer, not 
that you can make up an answer to suit yourself.

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